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Urethral Dilation Postoperative Instructions


After surgery it can be difficult to fit into your regular pants. Bring a pair of comfortable pants that have a loose waistband to wear home.

After Anesthesia

Do not drive a car or operate machinery for 24 hours after anesthesia. Do not consume alcohol, tranquilizers, sleeping medication, or any non-prescribed medications for 24 hours after anesthesia or if taking prescription pain medication. Do not make important decisions or sign any important papers in the next 24 hours after anesthesia.

Urinary Foley Catheter

During surgery, you will have a Foley urinary catheter placed in your bladder. A Foley catheter is a tube that drains urine from the bladder to the outside of your body into a bag. The catheter will stay in place until your body heals. This varies between 7 and 14 days. While the catheter is in, you may notice leakage of urine or blood from the tip of the penis around the catheter. This may be more noticeable with bowel movement. You may also notice some blood, debris or mucous sediment in the drainage tube or in the bag. The color of the urine may vary. Be sure to drink plenty of water, at least 60 ounces (2 liters) per day.

It is very important to make sure the catheter drains well. The bag should always be lower than your bladder. It is very important that there is no pulling or tugging on the catheter. Keep the catheter well secured to the leg at all times. There should never be any tension or pulling on the catheter. You may use over-the-counter medical tape to secure the catheter if needed. During the day, the catheter can be connected to a smaller bag called a leg bag. A leg bag can be worn under your pant leg. At night, the catheter should drain into a large drainage bag. You will receive instructions about the care of your urinary catheter before discharge.


You may shower daily starting the day after surgery. Let warm soapy water run over the catheter. Once out of the shower, pat dry. Do not take baths or submerge in water until your catheter has been removed.


Resume your regular medications or follow instructions given at discharge.

A pain medication to be taken by mouth may be prescribed for you. Narcotic pain medications are addictive and constipating and therefore should be discontinued as soon as possible.

NSAIDs (Alleve, ibuprofen, Motrin) decrease pain and inflammation. These may be prescribed or can be purchased at a drug store without a prescription.

Acetaminophen (Tylenol) helps decrease discomfort after surgery. This is available at any drug store without a prescription. Some narcotic pain medicines also contain acetaminophen. Do not take more than 3000 mg acetaminophen total per day. Ask your medical provider if you have history of liver problems.

A stool softener should be taken by mouth twice a day to avoid constipation. Constipation can cause you to strain to have a bowel movement, which puts stress on the surgery site and can impair healing. A stool softener or laxative may be prescribed or is available at any drug store without a prescription. These include Senna or Senokot or SennaGen, Dulcolax or Bisacodyl, Milk of Magnesia or magnesium hydroxide. Decrease or stop the stool softener for loose stools or diarrhea. Take stool softeners by mouth only. Avoid suppositories or enemas unless directed by your physician.

An antibiotic may be prescribed for you to take by mouth. Take this one hour before catheter removal.

Ditropan (oxybutynin) may be prescribed for you to take by mouth for bladder spasms. This medication also available without a prescription at drug stores or on Amazon as Oxytrol patch. This may be taken by men and women. Use as directed. Be sure to stop this medication 24 hours before catheter removal.


You may walk starting the day of surgery. You may be up and about as much as you like. You may go up and down stairs. You may take walks outside. Be sure there is never pulling or tugging on the catheter.

Do not lift more than 10 pounds (4.5 kilograms) while the catheter is in place.

Do not drive while the catheter is in place or if you are taking narcotic pain medicine.

Do not bicycle or ride a motorcycle, tractor or horse until the catheter has been removed.


Anesthesia and pain medicine can cause nausea and decrease your appetite. Start with clear fluids and bland diet. You may resume your regular diet as your appetite returns. Be sure to drink plenty of water, at least 60 ounces (2 liters) each day. Be sure to eat plenty of vegetables and fruits to promote healing and avoid constipation.

Foley Catheter Removal

Your surgeon will let you know when the catheter can be removed. Typically the catheter is removed first thing in the morning. Often patients will be instructed to come to the office at 1:30 pm in the afternoon the same day for a bladder scan to be sure the bladder is emptying well. If the bladder is not emptying well, the catheter may be reinserted to allow further bladder rest. Instructions will be given on when we can try to remove the catheter again. Catheters are not removed on Fridays or the day before holiday.

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